Best ‘I Voted’ sticker of 2017

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Would you vote for either of these guys?

In the newspaper business, we avoided using people’s names in a humorous way. But with these names popping up for local elections, I can’t help but wonder if these names are truth in advertisements. 

A crime

lost-bumpermagnet

In this photo of the back of our car, you can see the outlines of where a car magnet had once been. That magnet was political. It said, “Hillary ’16.” The reason you don’t see it there is because someone in the parking lot of our hotel in Pittsburgh thought it’d be a good idea to remove the magnet.

At first we thought it was stolen. We felt victimized — doubly so, considering who won. Being back in western Pennsylvania, though, it seemed likely that some Tr*mp supporter feeling embolden but also a coward thought he or she would just rip off someone else’s property. We later did find the magnet face-down in the rain-soaked parking lot, as if it had been flung away from our car.

In the grand scheme of things, I know it isn’t that big of a deal. But still, come on.

A vision of America: Witnessing divisiveness together

Debate Watch Party
Debate Watch Party (Photo by Andrzej Pilaczyk)

How are college kids approaching this election? Where I work, we’ve had debate watching parties open to the public. The communal experience of watching the debates have been eye-opening for students, who say that they value the ability to share the moment with hundreds of others, to see in real life and in real time how others — fellow students and members of the community — respond to the words of the two major party political candidates.

The togetherness, the shared experience, are a vivid contradiction to the divisiveness of the campaigns. They are a moment of hope. More photos are here.

The next Debate Watch Party is at 9 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016. More info here.

 

Book review: Harry Frankfurt’s ‘On B.S.’

The following book review originally appeared in the July 31, 2005, edition of the Albany Times Union. A recent op-ed in The Washington Post by Fareed Zakaria called “The unbearable stench of Trump’s B.S.” references the book in describing the extreme lack of concern for the truth in statements from the Republican presidential candidate. The book, though, isn’t about Trump in general; rather, it is a challenge to everyone to examine how we may add to the world’s B.S. through our own contributions or by allowing others to get away with it.

k7929‘Hot air’ philosophy brings world into focus
By Michael Janairo

For reasons that will be obvious, the title — and thus the subject — of the book in this review cannot be printed in its entirety in a family friendly newspaper such as the Times Union.

That word (think bovine excrement), the author writes, is sometimes replaced by humbug, balderdash, claptrap, hokum, drivel, buncombe, imposture or quackery . But the book rightly calls these words “less intense” and suggests they have more to do with “considerations of gentility” than the phenomenon to which they refer. They lack the sharpness and subversion inherent in the vulgarity.

Continue reading “Book review: Harry Frankfurt’s ‘On B.S.’”